Hilary brought mom and dad
from Ashland
where for the last decade
they’d been useful in her home
as bookends and paperweights—
we scattered them on a hillside
mom’s wish
at the junction of two toppled redwoods
in Founder’s Grove above
the West fork of the Eel River
then covered them with pine needles
without ceremony or song
to be washed by storms to come
carbon atom by carbon atom
down the hillside into the Eel River,
and from there to the Pacific—
mom and dad
rising as seeds of incandescent rain
finding their way into the water
I might use someday
to make my morning coffee
which I may drink with cream and sugar
or maybe black
unable to decide if I should read
the New York Times or
plant chrysanthemums.


Image credit:michael podger

Eliot Jacobson received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1983. Eliot was Associate Professor of Mathematics at Ohio University and Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer of Computer Science at U.C. Santa Barbara. Eliot retired from academia in 2009. Eliot was among the first professors at UCSB to institute automated plagiarism checking into his Computer Science courses.

Eliot founded Jacobson Gaming, LLC in 2006. His company specialized in casino table game design, advantage play analysis, game development, and mathematical certification. Eliot worked internationally with casino surveillance and management, helping to uncover scams, detect cheats and advise on game security. Eliot’s business “Certified Fair Gambling” used statistical methods to audit, police and safeguard online casino games.

Eliot fully retired in 2017 and now enjoys his new full-time career as a grandfather, husband and volunteer.